Nikita Ladwa

Nikita Ladwa

Founder of The Naked Laundry

Inspired by pure, subtle, muted tones, the naked laundry thrives on simplicity.

Tell us about the venture/ business/ initiative you have started...

In all honesty, the company started with a feeling. A feeling which I knew needed to be fulfilled. Going back to basics, a sari blouse can cost anywhere between £30-£70 depending on where you are getting it designed. Typically, your blouse will be tailored from the end part of your sari, making it very bespoke and precise to that specific sari and to your body shape. With an Indian heritage, I created The Naked Laundry to promote versatility between various cultures and various occasions. The term ‘Naked’ for us represents pure, contemporary and minimalist which allows drawing both Western and Indian fashion styles together. The blouses are designed in UK sizes and aimed worn with saris, pleated skirts and even a high waisted pair of tailored trousers. The purpose is to minimise your wardrobe and still make you look and feel stylish in a premium way.

What is your definition of success? What advice would you give to your younger self about "success"?

Just to simply be obsessed with what you do. Graduating with a Business and Economics degree, I was ready to enter the corporate world straight after university. My gut feeling has never let me down, and knowing I needed to enter the world of fashion and beauty was something I knew had to happen. This doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate my degree; I have used this as a foundation in all the branches I am trying to reach. It means something which might feel right now, can even feel better by taking that huge risk. Be scared, be vulnerable but also be brave.

What challenges have you encountered on your journey and how have you overcome them? Is this a common challenge in your industry? How can we tackle it?

In a world where Miss guided, Pretty Little Thing and Boohoo is dominating, it is difficult to tell your customers through a screen on why fast fashion is detrimental to not only the environment but the economy. We hear it on the news, we hear it on the radio and we certainly hear it on social media, huge businesses like the above are the few reasons small-medium brands will struggle to reach potential customers. However, a way we are tackling this is getting to know our customer deep down. We ask our customers feedback, we let them know our thoughts, provide sneak peeks before products are launching and always let them know how much of a difference they are making with their purchase. You can have a customer buying one product and forming an opinion, but it is important that this exact customer is truly happy with their purchase and they feel comfortable to approach the brand again.

What are your thoughts on work-life balance? Do you apply any techniques to achieve work-life balance?

Some may disagree, but I work to the hour. Of course, I will always overrun those hours but I will do my best to time myself and be as productive during this time. Setting smaller targets to achieve bigger targets is how I try to balance my work load, allowing myself some socialising time.

How did you know it was the right time to start your own venture/ initiative? How would you advise someone who is just starting out with a project outside of their regular 9-5 job?

It was the fear of regret, the adrenaline rush and the unknown which pushed me to do it. Three years of planning still isn’t enough to launch any brand, but learning along the way is better than not knowing how to move forward. With having my own fashion brand and my blog, equally as important passion is digital marketing which is my somewhat 9-5 position. Someone who is reading this right now and thinking of when to start that project they have been dreaming about, I would say DO IT! Build connections, put yourself out there and bounce off like minded people who will encourage you to reach higher!

What have you learned about leadership, entrepreneurship and mentoring others?

Believe in them. To whoever is dedicating time and effort to your business, whether that is an employee or an external agency, they are using their energy and brainpower to help your business succeed. Show them the person who runs the brand is just a normal human, and allow them to connect and feel inspired in your presence.

Are there any resources/ books you would like to recommend for the women who read your #AspiringWomen article?

My best friend recommended 'The Secret' by Rhonda Byrne, which I have religiously promoted to everyone who wants to believe in the power of positiveness and The Law of Attraction.

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